New broiler forecast includes optimism over HPAI cases

According to the USDA Outlook Board, margins could improve for producers depending on a decrease in cases of High-Path Avian Flu (HPAI).

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Texas Country Reporter

The United States Department of Agriculture’s 2024 broiler forecast is out, and producer margins are riding on a reduction in cases of High-Path Avian Influenza (HPAI)

The USDA’s outlook board is projecting next year’s broiler production to be up about 1.5 percent, coming in just shy of 48 billion pounds. Prices are expected to average $1.28/pound, down about 2 percent in 2023.

However, outlook board chair Mark Jekanowski says producer margins could still improve—however, that depends on lower feed prices and an expectation for a decrease in HPAI cases.

HPAI is still a concern for poultry producers all across the U.S., but cases of the virus have slowed in recent weeks.

APHIS hasn’t posted a significant case of more than 100 birds since mid-April. The most recent was a facility in Indiana where 20 birds were culled.

Right now, the USDA is testing a handful of vaccine candidates, but industry experts warn there could be significant pushback because other countries don’t like vaccinated poultry.

Farm Bureau Economist Bernt Nelson says vaccinating the U.S. poultry population could cost the U.S. more than $6 billion dollars in lost trade value. Officials say producers should instead focus on keeping up with their biosecurity measures.

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